Thanks Feminism: Serving on a Jury

‘The jury box is no place for a lady.” —  Sen. George C. Dixon, a Republican from Dixon, 1939

‘You know the kind of sordid crimes and sex matters that are presented in courts. . .’ — Sen. R. Wallace Karraker, an independent Democrat from Jonesboro, 1939

jury-female-1911

First all-female jury, Los Angeles, 1911

With the passage of the 19th Amendment in August of 1920, women finally achieved the right to vote.  But it wasn’t until five decades later, in 1975, that the Supreme Court heard Taylor v. Louisiana and women in all states won their right to participate as full citizens . . . being called to jury duty!

Why were women prohibited from serving on a jury in the first place?

Much like with arguments against suffrage at the turn of the century, a woman serving on a jury was. decried as interfering with her responsibilities in the home and tainting her feminine, fragile moral sensibilities through the exposure to unsavory criminal proceedings.

Charles Dana Gibson's 1902 illustration for "Life" Magazine . . . "When Women Are Jurors."

Charles Dana Gibson’s 1902 illustration for “Life” Magazine . . . “When Women Are Jurors.”

 

I can serve on a jury — thanks, feminism!

Want to learn more?  Links below.  (Linking to content does not signify “Half-Way’s” approval of the opinions expressed in said content).

Just Verdicts?  A Prosecutor Extols Jury Service for Women 

Equality On Trial: When Women Were Barred From Juries

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